Eating Raw food diet is becoming popular as one of the ways to lose weight and belly fat. Misinformation about raw food diet based on unscientific theories is also increasing, but the diet appears to be working well for some people.
Another advantage of eating raw food diet is that it contains certain types of vitamins such as vitamin C which are destroyed as food is cooked.
Although misinformation is spreading through newsletters and e-zines claiming that the body depends on foods’ store of enzymes to aid in digestion, we do not share this view as most health scientists would tell you.
Digestion is a well-established and proven scientific process. It depends on the enzymes that your body makes and not on the food enzymes as many people appear to think. When food arrives in the stomach acid is secreted from the stomach wall linings. These enzymes digest proteins to smaller units. This will occur whether you eat uncooked food or cooked food.
Raw foods will not contribute significantly towards the digestion in the stomach. The stomach will empty the food and gastric juice mixture into the small intestines. Pancreatic juice is secreted for digestion to continue in the small intestines.
The pancreatic juice contains enzymes that break down carbohydrate, fat, and protein in food that we eat. There are other enzymes that are active in this process. They come from glands in the wall of the intestine or even a part of the stomach wall. Your digestive system will not be able to cope with 100% raw food as the digestive enzymes are inadequate for such.
The extent of weight loss will depend on the fiber content of the food. Uncooked foods tend to be bulky and take long to digest. This discourages eating much food. Probably eating less could explain weight loss associated with eating raw foods. Some people have even reported rapid weight loss.
It is established is that fiber and antioxidants in raw food play an important role in keeping us healthy. Fruits and vegetables are the major sources of fibre and antioxidants. The less you cook the fruit or vegetable, the more nutrients and fiber it will retain. There are instances where cooking is important because eating raw vegetables provides you with fewer nutrients.
For example it has been observed that from 37 out of 48 vegetables tested boiling increased the absorption of iron. About 5 times more iron is absorbed when we eat cooked cabbage or broccoli than when we eat raw cabbage or broccoli . Apart from enhancing weight loss eating cooked tomatoes reduces the chances of developing prostate cancer.
The most recent guidelines from USDA recommend that adults who consume 2,000 calories per day should eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables. This translates to anywhere from 5-13 servings of vegetables and fruits daily depending on how active you are and how many calories you consume. This recommendation was not linked to raw food diet. However you can adjust it to meet your needs. You can increase or decrease the amounts depending on your intentions and energy expenditure.
If you are eating to lose weight you could increase the amount of uncooked food. You should not however eat just one type of fruits or vegetables. USDA recommends that you choose a variety of fruits and vegetables from the following subgroups: oranges, legumes, and starchy vegetables, dark green and other vegetables.
As you consider how you could utilize raw foods to lose weight or belly fat it is important to also know that certain vegetables may be harmful when eaten raw. Weight loss or belly fat loss must fit into your overall health plans.
You should be aware that buckwheat greens are toxic when eaten raw, especially if you make a juice or eat them in large amounts and you happen to be a fair skinned individual. They have a chemical component which is known to cause severe photo-sensitivity and other skin disorders. Kidney beans and rhubarb are toxic when eaten raw. In addition eating raw eggs is known to destroy biotin which is an important vitamin required during metabolism.Raw eggs may also carry salmonella which would make you ill.
The flesh of the potatoes of the nightshade family can produce the toxic chemical called solanine just beneath the skins. It can be removed by peeling the potatoes. Raw foods may also contain tiny organisms called bacteria which may cause disease. Raw food diet may even contain parasites which cause food borne illnesses. Therefore you should be careful and wash thoroughly all your the raw food to avoid the risk of such food borne illnesses. Illnesses due to parasites or bacteria can be avoided by steaming or cooking. Its well known that these organisms are destroyed when heated at high temperatures.
In conclusion raw food diets that include fruits and vegetables will be beneficial towards weight loss and good health. They should however be eaten not in isolation but as part of a well planned balanced diet as recommended by USDA. Maintaining a balanced diet is essential irrespective of whether you are losing weight or not. You should however monitor your performance on raw food regularly as you eat foods that help to lose weight.